As the owner of a female centric business I often find myself struggling with staying true to who I am and what I call the cool factor. I am not an “it girl.” I have 454 followers on Instagram, and my life as a whole isn’t very glamorous. In fact owning a business isn’t very glamorous. People think because I “get to be my own boss” that I have it made. Trust me, that’s not as great as it sounds either. But I digress (that’s another blog post).
We are talking about the art of cool. What makes you cool these days? Living in NYC we are definitely trapped in our own bubble. What makes you cool is that effortless chic vibe. The undone hair, the $10,000 outfit that looks like it cost $60 at a vintage store. Always being at the right parties…and of course documenting it on social media for your many followers to see. So as a business owner am I supposed to try and be cool?
Joli was founded to be for everyone. To be inclusive. To welcome women of every age, size, ethnicity, and tax bracket. We don’t just say that, we actually mean it. We’ve come a long way since we first opened, and we definitely have met some amazing women. But I would not describe us as cool. We get to do cool things, and when we do we are sure to showcase it on social media, but we will never be the cool kids and I think that’s ok.
Even as we grow we try and put out content that is meaningful and sometimes sentimental. And while I think lots of companies have jumped on the bandwagon that tries to give their identity a soul, it hasn’t ever come off as genuine or sincere. Because you can’t be both. You can’t be exclusive and inclusive at the same time. Either you’re for everyone or you are for a select few, but you can’t be both. In the end I think it’s better we haven’t been able to get anyone “cool” to collaborate with us. We want women to want to come to Joli, but it doesn’t have to be aspirational, it can be accessible. I don’t want to ever give the impression that Joli can only be for cool girls, because I don’t believe that has staying power. What I think will ultimately set us apart is the fact that that when you step into our space you feel instantly at ease. I don’t ever want us to loose that.
Social media is a tricky thing. Cool women have built empires with Instagram alone. But you have to remember that what you see on social media is never the whole story. There are lots of factors and #bts stuff you just don’t know about. I’m not going to show you the days I feel bloated and greasy and sad because a deal didn’t go through. I’ll show you drinks on a rooftop and a selfie with my favorite filter after I just got a blowout from Charde. It’s not real, and being cool isn’t either.
Ultimately I’m ok being where I am. Relatively obscure and working towards building something that I believe will stand the test of time. Something I can be proud of because it makes others happy. Maybe that’s the new cool. Maybe that makes me cool?